Did Thutmose III Really Lay Siege To Megiddo? Part Two B: The Name “Shishak”.



 Damien F. Mackey


So far in this series I have embraced the Velikovskian view that pharaoh Thutmose III had belonged to the C10th BC – rather than to the C15th BC, as according to the text books – and that he was at least contemporaneous with the biblical “Shishak king of Egypt”.

I also argued, following Dr. Eva Danelius, that Thutmose III’s ‘First Campaign’, against the “king of Kadesh”, could not have been waged against Megiddo as is commonly thought.


But, now, can Thutmose III be reconciled to “Shishak”, in both name and military aim?


Was “Shishak” an

Egyptian Name?



It needs to be kept well in mind, however, that “Shishak” was the name by which this person was known to the Jews; so it may not necessarily even have been an Egyptian name.


Reconciling the name, “Shishak”, with the mighty Eighteenth dynasty pharaoh, Thutmose III, was one of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky’s pressing tasks towards establishing this proposed biblico-historical synchronism as a sturdy pillar of historical revision in his Ages in Chaos I (1952). The other major challenges relating to this were to connect the geography of Thutmose III’s First Campaign to the brief biblical accounts about “Shishak king of Egypt”; and to demonstrate that the inscribed Karnak treasures from this campaign could be matched to those of the Solomonic reign (his palace and the Temple of Yahweh).


Shoshenq I as “Shishak”

It was in 1828 that Jean François Champollion visited Egypt for the last time together with Professor Ippolito Rossellini of the University of Pisa, Italy. They made their way to the triumph scene of pharaoh Hedjkheperre Shoshenq I carved into the Bubastite walls of the temple of Karnak at Thebes. There, on the right, were the faint outlines of the pharaoh smashing his enemies. To the left was the royal figure of the god Amon dragging more captives surrounded with oval name rings before the king. The hieroglyphics inside the rings represented the names of cities conquered by the pharaoh. Champollion began to read the names inside the rings.

When he came to 29 he read y-w-d-h-m-l-k. Could that really be ‘Iouda-ha-malek’ – kingdom of Judah [Yehud]? Indeed, the biblical “Shishak” had invaded and conquered Judah as we know from 1 Kings 14:25-26:

In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. He carried off the treasures of the Temple of the Lord and the treasures of the royal palace. He took everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made,

and from 2 Chronicles 12:2-9.

Fatefully, from that moment on, pharaoh Shoshenq I, founder of the 22nd Libyan Dynasty, would be accepted as the “Shishak king of Egypt” of the scriptures, and dated to c. 925 BC, the 5th year of Rehoboam of Judah.

However, as W. Max-Mueller pointed out already in 1888, ring 29 should actually be read as yah-ha-melek, which literally means “hand of the King”, and should be understood as “Monument”, or “Stela of the King”. In other words it was a location in Palestine where some un-named ruler had erected a commemorative stela [standing stone] of the King of Judah. More significantly still is the fact that this yah-ha-melek was located in northern Israel and, therefore, could not possibly have been a location inside the borders of the kingdom of Judah.

Perhaps the major problem facing the Champollionic choice of Shoshenq I for “Shishak” is that the Libyan pharaoh’s Karnak list of conquered cities does not include Jerusalem—his biggest prize according to the Bible. Shoshenq’s list focusses on places either north or south of Judah, as if he did not raid the centre.

Even conventional scholars such as Kenneth Kitchen agree with this fact. Shoshenq I did not directly assault the city of Jerusalem!

So, “the fundamental problem facing historians is establishing the aims of the two accounts and linking up the information in them” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshenq_I).

If Shoshenq I were “Shishak”, why did he attack locations in northern Israel and carefully avoided Judah and in particular did not attack Jerusalem?

Scholars appear to have made a very serious mistake in following Champollion’s very honest attempt, at the time, to reconcile scripture with history. Despite the lapse of time, and the seemingly insurmountable problems associated with this equation, Shoshenq I = Shishak, conventional historians are still tenaciously clinging to it, whilst ignoring the obvious discrepancies a comparison of the Egyptian and scriptural records reveal.

There is a fundamental problem of methodology in the false assignment of Shoshenq I as “Shishak”. And there is an alternative.


Thutmose III as “Shishak”

Admittedly the name “Shoshenq” (var. Sosenq, Shoshenk) is – despite Dr. J. Bimson’s useful criticisms of it (“Shoshenq and Shishak: A Case of Mistaken Identity”, SIS Review, vol. viii., 1986, pp. 36-46) – phonetically speaking, a far more obvious fit for “Shishak” (Heb. Šiwšaq: שִׁישַׁק), than is the name ‘Thutmose’ (and perhaps any other pharaonic nomen).

The various names known for Thutmose III are provided here by Phouka


Horus Name Kanakkht Khaemwaset
Nebty Name Wahnesyt
Golden Horus Name Djeserkhau Sekhenpehti
Praenomen Menkheperre “Lasting are the Manifestations of Re”
Nomen Thutmose” Born of the god Thoth”
Manetho Misphragmuthosis, Mepharamuthosis
King Lists
Alternate Names Totmes, Thutmos, Thumoses, Tuthmoses

I shall be briefly re-visiting one of these names in 3. below.

It needs to be kept well in mind, however, that “Shishak” was the name by which this person was known to the Jews; so it may not necessarily even have been an Egyptian name.

A similar name, “Shisha” (Heb. Šiyša‘:שִׁישָׁא) – practically identical to “Shishak” but lacking the final k sound (Heb. qôph) – does occur in the First Book of Kings as the father of two of King Solomon‘s highest court officials, scribes (4:3). It is generally thought that “Shisha” is an Egyptian name, as with one of this man’s sons, Eli-horeph. Curiously, Shisha’s name is variously rendered in the Old Testament as “Seraiah” (2 Samuel 8:17); as “Sheva” (20:25); and as “Shavsha” (I Chronicles 18:16), which variability might perhaps indicate its foreigness.

Another very close fit for the name “Shishak” is the biblical name “Shashak” (Heb. Šašaq) of I Chronicles 8:14, 25.

So, “Shishak” may simply have been the name by which the pharaoh was known to the Israelites. And, in the context of Dr. Ed Metzler’s “Conflict of Laws in the Israelite Dynasty of Egypt” (http://moziani.tripod.com/dynasty/ammm_2_1.htm), with Thutmose II, the father of Thutmose III/Shishak, identified as king Solomon himself, then Israelite familiarity with the young Thutmose III becomes highly likely – Thutmose III now being one of Solomon’s very sons from a concubine, and, as such, he was presumably well known in the royal court of Jerusalem.

Other Revisionist Attempts to Account for the Name, “Shishak”


  1. Velikovsky

Dr. Velikovsky himself did not actually attempt to connect “Shishak” to any of the Egyptian names of pharaoh Thutmose III, but merely alluded to Josephus‘s information that the Egyptian conqueror’s name was “Isakos”, or “Susakos”, and also to the Jewish tradition that the name “Shishak” was from Shuk, “desire”, because the pharaoh had wanted to attack Solomon, but had feared him. Certainly, this became an issue as Solomon aged, with his foes now seeking refuge with “Pharaoh” (1 Kings 11:18-22), which monarch is variously given as “King Shishak of Egypt” (v. 40).

Jewish tradition here may not be so far-fetched. ŠŠK is actually an atbash cryptogram in Jeremiah 25:26; 51:41.

  1. Rohl

An e-mail correspondent recently wrote to me about this:

Perhaps Rohl’s etymology of the word is correct, and Shishak means something like Crusher- the King of Egypt. One might argue that this is meant to contrast with the previous use of the formulaic “Pharaoh king of Egypt” which then suddenly becomes “Shishak king of Egypt.” Since Pharaoh means palace, one could associate that with everything that occurs in the Solomonic narratives. Solomon builds a palace for God, a palace for himself, a palace for Pharaoh’s daughter, and Palace king of Egypt, as with a number of other Gentile kings, willingly participates in that project- when Israel is faithful, the wealth of the nations flows in to glorify God’s Temple- as Isaiah prophesies will actually occur with the dawn of the Messianic Age (Isaiah 60). With Rehoboam’s idolatry, the Palace of God becomes desolated, so Palace king of Egypt becomes Crusher [of the Palace] king of Egypt. The author of Kings loves to play with words, so if we can’t find an actual link between Shishak and one of Thutmose’s names, that’s where I’d look. The same sort of theology is evident in the book of Exodus, since at the beginning, Israel is building cities for Palace the king of Egypt, but by the end, they have built a Palace for God and are on their way to building the city of God. ….

[End of quote]

  1. Birch

If, on the other hand, the name “Shishak” is to be sought amongst those pharaonic titles of Thutmose III, then one might consider K. Birch‘s suggestion that it may derive from Thutmose III’s Golden Horus name, Djeser-khau (dsr h‘w): “… the (Golden) Horus names of Thutmose III comprise variations on: Tcheser-khau, Djeser-khau … (Sheser-khau?) …”. (“Shishak Mystery?”, C and C Workshop, SIS, No. 2, 1987, p. 35).

This Golden Horus name means “holy-of-diadems”.

Concluding Suggestion


Whilst Birch’s ingenious explanation, and the others, may all have merit, my own particular preference, at this point of time at least, is that the name, “Shishak”, was, not an Egyptian name at all – or certainly not a pharaonic one – but was one of those Israelite-applied names in vogue in King Solomon’s court along the lines of “Shisha” and “Shashak”.


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